Many political observers have called Donald Trump the Frankenstein of the Republican Party; a monster of their own creation that will now inflict great pain and suffering, not only on the villagers, but also on his master.
This, no doubt, is true. But it does not explain Trump’s continuing dominance over the other Republican presidential candidates. To understand what is taking place in today’s Republican world, you have to look at what can only be described as a “ perfect political storm.”
A unique set of circumstances has converged this election cycle the likes of which has not been seen before. This rare combination of powerful forces, many years in the making, has given the GOP what some might classify as its worst nightmare.
Five disparate events have combined to give the Party of Lincoln the “Trump perfect storm.”
- Government Bashing – During Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, he famously said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Trust in government is at its lowest sustained level since Pew started collecting that data in 1958. Republican voters’ hatred of Washington D.C. is so great these days that it spills over to any career politician. Conservatives are tired of being lied to by their representatives. They are flocking toward any non-politician. Besides heavily favoring Trump, Republicans are strongly supporting two other non-pols, Carson and Fiorina.
- Money And Politics – Many voters today rightly believe their representatives are bought and paid for. While Citizen’s United has exacerbated the influence of money in politics, that has always been the case. Voters are sick of politicians promising them one thing on the campaign trail then doing something else (the bidding of their financial overlords) once in power. Trump brags about how he can’t be bought; how he turns down millions every day. As he keeps reminding his audiences, “I am very, very rich!”
- Political Correctness – Most mainstream politicians have to resort to “code” or “dog whistles” to get their hateful messages across to their public. Donald Trump has turned all that correctness on its ear. People like him because he tells it like it is. He gives people the “hate on a plate,” if you will, and the rabble is eating it up.
- Weak Field – With sixteen chances of fielding a non-extreme, electable candidate, one with passion and personality, this field was the best the adults in the GOP could come up with? Jeb, the anointed one, has not turned out to be the Establishment’s savior. While he looked good on paper, he is about as exciting as that … a sheet of paper. He has turned out to be the most disappointing candidate. Trump, on the other hand, has guts, cojones, energy, style and pizzazz. All his mainstream opponents are weak and mealy-mouthed in comparison. They may have the steak, but today’s conservative voter wants sizzle.
- Dumbing Down – Years of conservative bashing of intellectualism, science, logic, facts and history have taken a toll on the collective intelligence of the American electorate. Add the conservatives’ war on public education and the teaching profession, you have a toxic combination.
The Trump bid for the Republican presidential nomination continues to have legs because of five “perfect storm” factors: he is not a politician, he is independently wealthy, he doesn’t talk like a politician, he has style and the average American today is less factually-informed (and I’m being kind) than those in years past.
The GOP establishment can try to derail the Trump Express, but in a “perfect political storm,” the worst possible result inevitably becomes the reality.
Safe travels, Donald.
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